Identify and Overcome Weaknesses that Matter

Leaders often believe their relationships are more positive than they are.

You feel good about relationships when results are good. But, results and relationships aren’t the same thing.


“People who are smart and self assured are often very skillful at justifying their thinking and behavior – to the point of being in denial about their weaknesses and the threats they face.” Robert Bruce Shaw

I asked Robert, author of, “Leadership Blindspots,” to talk about light bulb moments for leaders. He said the lights come on when leaders realize their relationships aren’t as positive as they believe.

In his own words (1:32): 

Shaw lists 20 common leadership blindspots in relation to self, teams, companies, and markets. Listed below are six.

6 common leadership blindspots:

  1. Overestimating your strategic capabilities.
  2. Valuing being right over being effective.
  3. Failing to balance the what with the how.
  4. Not seeing your impact on others.
  5. Believing the rules don’t apply to you.
  6. Thinking the present is the past.

The “people are different” blindspot (1:32): 

5 ways to shine the light on blindspots:

  1. See it for yourself. Stay connected with people in the organization.
  2. Seek disconfirming data.
  3. Develop peripheral vision. Create openings for contrarians, for example.
  4. Build a network of advisors.
  5. Promote productive fights. Embrace high-level conflicts; shun low-level conflicts.

Not all bad:

The tendency to overestimate strengths isn’t all bad.

Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx became the youngest self-made female billionaire in history because she wasn’t as intimidated as she should have been. She writes, “What you don’t know can become your greatest asset if you’ll let it and you have the confidence to say, I’m going to do it anyway…” (From, “Leadership Blindspots”)

What blindspots have you seen in others or yourself?

Blindspot assessment.

Sample chapter.

The kindle version of Leadership Blindspots is available now. Print versions ship on 4/21/14.